20-06-2016

West Bengal govt identifies land to set up new sea port

WBP

West Bengal government has identified an area at Tajpur-Shankarpur in East Midnapore district to set up a new minor deep sea port at an estimated cost of Rs 4,231 crore.

This was informed by state finance minister Amit Mitra on Friday.

According to the feasibility report of the project, the total cost is estimated at around Rs 4,231 crore.

The project would be placed in the cabinet for approval very soon, following which a competitive bidding process would start, Mitra said.

He further said that the erstwhile Left Front government's letter of intent given to a company for setting up a minor sea port at Rasulpur without going through the competitive bidding process was not in order.

"We thought that this process of giving a letter of intent without inviting competitive bidding was not right. So we cancelled it. The matter went to the court. The court ordered that the project be granted through competitive bidding only and that the details of it be placed in the court," Mitra told reporters.

The minister claimed that the project conceived during the Left Front regime was "totally flawed" entailing an expenditure of more than Rs 8,000 crore. Besides, there was the question of acquiring land at the Rasulpur for the project.

He said that a renowned consultant firm had been selected for conducting a feasibility study of the project.

"The company has submitted its report and a coastal area between Tajpur and Shankarpur on the Bay of Bengal in East Midnapore district is selected," he said.

"The port will be built through desilting and it won't affect tourism as the area has a guard wall along the coast. An 18.8 km long sea channel will be made for the entry of ships to the port," he said.

Asked about the cargo ship capacity for the new port, Mitra said: "In Haldia ships of 10-20 thousand tonnes of cargo can enter. But in this new port, ships of even 60 thousand tonnes of cargo can enter."

The state government will have to spend only Rs 150 crore out of the Rs 4,231 crore budget and the remaining expenses would be borne by the company building he port.

Source: Business Standard 

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